Swept-away paddleboarders, 11 and 12, rescued from uninhabited Scottish isle

RNLI lifeboat
The kind of lifeboat used by Kyle RNLI in this rescue (Image credit: Getty Images / Monty Rakusen)

Two girls, aged 11 and 12, were rescued from an uninhabited Scottish isle where they sought refuge after being swept out to sea while paddleboarding off Scotland’s north-west coast.

The two youngsters were left stranded after getting into difficulty at about 3.45pm on Tuesday afternoon, said a Facebook message posted by Kyle RNLI (the Royal National Lifeboat Institution). They managed to steer themselves to the small isle.

A crew from RNLI Kyle, based at the Kyle of Lochalsh, scrambled to find the girls, and a coastguard helicopter was deployed as well.

The helicopter located the children on the island near Arisaig, Lochaber around 4.35pm. A winchman was lowered down to check they on their safety, and then they were transported back to their parents on the mainland. Not the least stressful way to get some sea air.

"The two children had gotten a bit of a fright and their parents were relieved to get them back safe and sound,” said Kyle RNLI’s lifeboat helm Jonathon MacKinnon in a post shared on Facebook. “We have to thank our crews and their employers, who let them drop everything at a moment's notice and respond when the pager sounds.”

It wasn’t the rescue crew’s first callout of the day, who had two callouts in less than five hours. Earlier in the day they had to assist a broken down vessel.

“Kyle lifeboat first launched at 11.20am after a 10m motor vessel had contacted the UK Coastguard to report they had lost power in the mouth of Loch Carron and were drifting towards the rocks,” Kyle RNLI detailed on Facebook. “The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11.30am by which time a passing yacht had taken the vessel under tow. For safety reasons, and to prevent a danger to shipping, the lifeboat took over the tow and safely delivered the stricken vessel to Kishorn boatyard at 12.35pm.”

All RNLI crew are volunteers, and we applaud their dedication and swift action in both cases.